‘Brick, mortar stores are going nowhere’
From food to electronics, all the way to clothing, DIY and furniture, the digitisation of shopping is now a reality, in particular thanks to the fact that the majority of our lives have been moved onto smartphones.
This is something that has accelerated considerably in recent years and has found a natural catalyst and a new means of connecting with consumers in technology.
Following the relaxation of social distancing measures, the brick and mortar store is reluctant to lose its supremacy. This is due to the agility shown by the main players in physical commerce, and the determined commitment to an omnichannel experience that includes the digitisation of the customer journey.
In just a few years, retailers have evolved and reinvented themselves to offer their customers an integrated experience that cannot be compared to the "pre-COVID world”.
Six out of ten customers shop in the physical store, yet 93% of consumers search for their products online before making a purchase. So how should retailers evolve to adapt to this digital consumer?
According to Eva Martín, Chief Executive Officer of Tiendeo, a platform specialising in drive-to-store solutions and digital catalogues, it is important to follow these two trends.
"First, the digital consumer wants full access, from the sofa at home or anywhere else, to all the information available: prices, products, availability, services, the ability to chat with an advisor, make an appointment, etc. The physical store must guarantee this shopping, otherwise the possibility of influencing consumers' decisions and consequently sales may be lost", she explains.
"Second, once the consumer is at the point of sale, they want a completely frictionless experience, you need to avoid long waits, excessive checkout queues, and offer shopping alternatives so that the customer is empowered and makes the best purchase decision using the smartphone as a core element in their decision-making process", adds Eva.
Despite the digital revolution, visiting the physical store is still an experience that allows consumers to connect with store staff: advisors who help them choose what
Despite what it may seem, physical commerce will not disappear, but will have to reinvent itself and adapt to the phygital concept, a fusion of the physical and the digital. 'Phygital' is a term that has emerged in response to changes in the physical store and consumer demands. In short, it is a process of transformation of physical points of sale that include new technologies in their sales processes.
In this post-Covid world, phygital is a real opportunity for physical stores to recover. It stimulates the customer's senses and immerses them in a fluid environment in which shopping is facilitated. As a result, the customer experience is enhanced and brand loyalty is increased.